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About Petronillus

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Glen Ellyn, Illinois
  • Interests
    social (non-competitive) ballroom dancing, mystery novels
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America Line
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    The on-board thermal suite at the spa on cold-weather cruises (Alaska, northern Europe, Baltic Sea)

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  1. Petronillus

    Contacting HAL in an Emergency

    Gosh, Suzy! I should have known you'd be on top of it! Thanks. It's great to think we'll be out of the grip of an awful Chicago winter in a couple days' time.
  2. What number can we give our family to use for calling HAL in the event of an emergency, i.e., if they need to get word to us while we are on board and underway?
  3. I am grateful for all the guidance. Based on your collective input, I'm inclined to go with SPB Tours. They offer packages that encompass almost all the other ports of call on our cruise. I was particularly struck by the negative reviews I read on TripAdvisor.com. First, that there were so few of them. And secondly, SPB took all of the complaints seriously and, it appears, bent over backwards in each case to make things right. Thanks to you all!
  4. DW & I are booked in the 14-day Baltic cruise in September of this year. We are traveling with another couple, although we are not constrained to book all shore excursions with them; for an attractive enough package we could be a party of four, or DW & I could go off on our own as a party of two. Our itinerary includes two days in St. Petersburg (Russia, not Florida!), scheduled to start at 7:00 am on Friday and to end at 6:00 pm on Saturday. The Russian visa, which is both expensive and complicated to obtain, is required but "waived" if a two-day shore excursion is booked through the cruise line or directly with a state-approved tour operator. In other words, Mother Russia discourages tourists from wandering around on their own and encourages them to submit to the watchful eyes of a selected minder. My chief objective in this connection is to spend as much time as I desire in the Hermitage viewing as much of the collection as I desire and at the pace I desire. Sure, we can take a whirlwind tour of other "must see" attractions but I absolutely do not want to be rushed through the Hermitage or to miss parts of the collection that I am keen to see and see at my leisure. Here's where I turn to the vast wisdom and experience of the CC community: does anyone out there in CC-land know about (ideally, have firsthand experience with) a reliable and reputable tour operator who will customize a private tour that will serve my needs?
  5. Petronillus

    holland america formal nights

    My apologies to despegue. My post was supposed to read as follows: "You, sir, are a throwback to a bygone age. You are a gentleman. If hats were still fashionable menswear, I would doff mine in your honor." Let the record be corrected.
  6. Petronillus

    holland america formal nights

    You, sir, are a throwback to a bygone age. If hats were still in fashion, I would doff mine in your honor.
  7. Petronillus

    Power strips

    That's new information to me. We're booked on the Koningsdam next month, and the information I've received says that on that new class of HAL ships electric outlets abound in the cabin and so the extension cords/power strips are not needed. In the past we have brought our own without objection or incident, and I believe it was equipped with a surge protector. And once, our cabin steward brought us one.
  8. Petronillus

    Gala Nights?

    That's so good to hear. It's a hassle to pack formalwear, but your comments make it seem worthwhile.
  9. Petronillus

    Gala Nights?

    By happy coincidence, we're on the same cruise! I'm already a member of our Roll Call. Am so looking forward to meeting you.
  10. Petronillus

    Gala Nights?

    I admit it: I'm a fair-weather friend. That is to say, I follow this board only when I'm anticipating a HAL cruise. So, I just learned, incidentally, that while I was away, "formal nights" were done away with in favor of "gala nights." The significance, I further learned, is that gentlemen are no longer expected wear business suit and tie (and, ideally, a tuxedo or other formal wear) for dining in the MDR, much less for the evening's subsequent on-board activities. If I'm understanding correctly, a collared shirt and chinos meet the new standard. Is there more I should know? Formal nights (i.e., with tuxedo, patent leather shoes, and all) was one of the things that, for me, made HAL special. Now would I be a small conspicuous (maybe even ridiculous?) minority if I showed up on "gala nights" decked out in my finery? If this topic has been thoroughly hashed out in another thread, I'd appreciate it if one of you out there in CCland would point me to the relevant posting.
  11. Petronillus

    Koningsdam Promenade Deck

    How very sad. I'm sure, though, there are other decks, other than poolside, where one can stretch out on a deck chair in the open air with a good book.
  12. Petronillus

    New to Holland, would appreciate input

    Congratulations on getting your choice of stateroom. Let me add another recommendation. On our Alaska cruise we booked at the first opportunity our voyage-long access to the Greenhouse Spa's hydro pool and thermal lounges. I found the thermal lounge chairs to die for. On our subsequent Mexican Riviera cruise it didn't add much, and I thereupon decided to hold off on the thermal lounge except for colder-weather itineraries (i.e., Alaska and northern Europe).
  13. Petronillus

    Koningsdam Promenade Deck

    At Buick Motor Division we used to refer to the dashboard trim as "taintwood." "Whatever it is it ain't wood." Thanks to all, as ever, for the helpful information. I'm counting down the days. It almost (as if!) makes the prospect of a Chicago winter palatable.
  14. Petronillus

    Koningsdam Promenade Deck

    We have booked a midwinter cruise to the Caribbean on board the Koningsdam. One of the features I associate with HAL is the beautiful teak-wood promenade that completely encompasses the promenade deck without interruption. DW and I have walked off many an overindulgence by strolling the promenade deck. The pdf of the Promenade Deck on the Koningsdam appears either (1) to get blocked off in the aft sections of both the port and starboard side or (2) to narrow down to a width that wouldn't accommodate two walking abreast. I trust that some denizen of CCland will be kind and gracious enough to enlighten me. I've also noticed that the Koningsdam's Sports Deck has a running/jogging track. I can't recall ever encountering a runner or jogger on the Promenade Deck. Is that forbidden? Thanks!
  15. Petronillus

    Carnival Stock Down

    Q: Why doesn't Iowa have a professional football team? A: Because then Illinois would want one. [it's a Bears joke.]